Birmingham School Board meets deadline, cuts are on the way

"It's not something that will happen overnight," Birmingham City School Board Member, April Williams, said.

Williams is speaking from experience. In her time on the Birmingham City School Board riffs have happened three different times.

"It's a very tedious process," she said. "It's not pleasant to anyone."

Friday was no different.

For more than a week the Birmingham City Schools system has been trying to cut 180 positions, which will add up to $12 million out of the budget. Williams says they are cuts all the way from the superintendent's cabinet, to the local schools.

Among the cuts are assistant principals, nursing and social workers and some classroom assistants who help with students. Other positions are already vacant or are positions where staff will be retiring.

Williams says the eliminations did not include any classroom teachers or principals.

But that could change due to tenure and seniority. Williams says the most difficult part of making the cuts is figuring out exactly who to cut. If one position is eliminated, then that person would go back to the last position where they had tenure. If someone else already fills that position, it would then become an issue of seniority.

"That process could very well end up tapping a local school instructor," Williams said. "Just based on who the next person in line for seniority...based on that rollback position."

Williams says the cuts are difficult but have to be made.

"I wish that I was in a position to say to any employee or any group of employees that 'You're saved and will not be impacted'," she said. "I do not have the luxury of providing that."

The school board is expected to vote on the matter Tuesday.